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US business groups seek protection from coronavirus lawsuits

April 23, 2020, Financial Times

Lindsay Burke and Carolyn Rashby spoke with the Financial Times about the request from U.S. businesses that seek a shield from litigation if they expose employees to COVID-19 after calling them back to work. Both Ms. Rashby and Ms. Burke note that the firm’s employment practice has been flooded with questions about how employers could minimize their legal risks amid inconsistent guidance across different states.

Ms. Burke says that many were uncertain whether they could test workers’ temperatures or ask them to sign waivers before returning to work with others fearing enforcement actions if they could not provide the correct protective equipment.

Ms. Rashby says the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a federal agency overseeing worker safety, has relaxed its enforcement guidelines during the crisis, saying

regulators should take into account employers’ “good faith efforts” to protect staff.

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